Enough playing around. The Detroit Lions season is a day away, which means it’s time to start predicting the team’s record for the 2017 season. Last year, the Pride of Detroit staff was pretty accurate with their predictions. Here’s how the predictions looked:
6-10: 3 staffers
8-8: 2 staffers
9-7: 3 staffers
10-6: 2 staffers
On average, our staff predicted 8.1 wins, which was just shy of Detroit’s 9-7 record. Commenters, on the other hand, were a little overly optimistic. While 20 percent of fans hit the nail on the head with a 9-7 prediction, 48 percent of readers predicted the Lions to win 10 or more games.
But it’s a new year and a brand new roster. Let’s check in the staff’s predictions for the 2017 season.
Chris Perfett: 8-8
There's no proof this team has gotten better. There's no proof it's gotten much worse either. The Lions enacted mostly middling changes (some not their fault! Taylor Decker got hurt after all), a sense of dread at fewer thrilling comebacks, and only the prospect of another early playoff flameout to carry on my fan spirit. I feel utterly neutral about this team this year, and so my prediction must be as such. I'll hope for better records and more insanity once I've had a few cups of Honolulu blue kool-aid.
Ryan Mathews: 9-7
2017 looks to be quite the challenge for the Lions strictly from a schedule standpoint. The first eight games of the season can only be described as a gauntlet—the combined win-loss record of their opponents over that span was 71-56-1 in 2016.
If Detroit can escape with a .500 record over that eight-game stretch, which I think is a reasonable expectation, I think the Lions are looking at another 9-7 season. But that first half of the season decides the direction this season takes for Detroit.
Jeremy Reisman: 9-7
I have been sitting on an 8-8 prediction for weeks now, but earlier in the week I vowed not to make that boring prediction two years in a row.
I was much closer to picking 7-9 than I was 9-7, but something came over me Friday. Partially inspired by Andrew Kato’s very optimistic, very informative look at Akeem Spence and the entire defensive line, partially riding high off of hype videos, a wave of optimism came over me.
By the end of the season, the Lions’ defense will hardly be recognizable from last year, and we’ll see this team making real progress to contend with the NFL’s best. But a slow start will sink their postseason chances in 2017.
Alex Reno: 9-7
I don't have the guts to say that the Lions will finish with a better record than last year, and I am not very confident that they will even finish above .500. If you asked me whether the Lions look better on paper this year than they did last year, I'd tell you yes, absolutely, but they failed to get better at arguably the most important positional group other than quarterback: the defensive line. This season will center around one word and one word only: survive.
Mike Payton: 10-6
The Lions will finish the 2017 season with a 10-6 record. I will also eat a bowl of macaroni and cheese on December 3rd, 2026.
Justin Simon: 10-6
Health always plays such a big part in these predictions, nut let's assume no key contributors go down with season ending injuries. If the Lions can stay relatively healthy, especially on defense, I say the Lions go 10-6.
Kyle Yost: 7-9
As much as I would like to be optimistic, I cannot see the Lions finishing with a winning record in 2017. Improvements on the offensive line and linebacking corps are not enough to offset injuries and suspensions elsewhere. The Lions were fortunate too many times last season, and while that late-game magic will not completely go away, they should not finish better than 7-9.
Andrew Kato: 10-6
This is a team that has enough talent to compete, but needs to prove it can win on the road and against other playoff-level franchises.
Kent Lee Platte: 7-9
The roster has improved immensely but the lack of a pass rush cannot be hidden in the NFL.
What will be the Detroit Lions’ record in 2017?
This poll is closed